By JERUSALEM POST SPORTS STAFF
Two years after the passing of Ralph Klein, the legendary coach’s family and the Ruppin Academic Center handed out the first scholarships under the Ralph Klein Foundation for the Advancement of Athletes.Widely regarded as Israel’s greatest basketball coach, Klein in 2008, at the age of 77, following a long battle with cancer.The foundation awards scholarships to athletes at the Ruppin Academic Center, where Klein voluntarily coached in the final years of his life. In a game held to celebrate the foundation, a team of Maccabi Tel Aviv veterans beat Ruppin 81-72.A Holocaust survivor, Klein played for Maccabi Tel Aviv after coming toIsrael in 1951 and in 1970 was appointed as the club’s coach.His brightest moment as Maccabi coach came in the 1976/77 season whenhe guided the team to the European Championship title, claiming anhistoric victory over CSKA Moscow on the way.Two years later he guided the Israel national team to an unprecedented second place finish in the European Championships.
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